‘If I Can’t Have You’ centres on Constance, who is twenty-six, originally from Manchester and now living in a bedsit in London, working as a receptionist at a doctor’s surgery. A new doctor arrives on the scene, Dr Samuel Stevens, and the two begin to see each other.
The novel begins with Constance on a tube train, in a wedding dress covered with blood and a tooth falling out, presumably from a fight. This had me hooked. How did she get there and what had happened?
At times I felt sad, embarrassed for her and at others laughed out loud, certainly at her bedsit neighbour with the idea that her name could be ‘Constance Little-Cox’. Told by Constance, her humour and one-line quips about her work colleagues and others is brilliant.
Cleverly portrayed as a flawed character, she descends into a dark place for a variety of reasons but the story is compelling and addresses some sensitive areas with great sensitivity and clarity.
Many thanks to NetGalley, Pan MacMillan and Charlotte Levin for my ARC in return for my honest review.
Utterly compelling. Highly recommended.